Rukomo,Rwanda

Church of sun

 

International competition: Finalist

 

A yellow cylindrical building surrounded by the green area, connected with the light of the sun and its stunning sky through lots of holes that creates its facade. That is the way to describe this church, designed for the Christian Community of Rukomo and called "Church of Sun". The Sun, indeed, is a typical element of the whole project. Thanks to the rays of sunlight that come from the holes there is a special atmosphere for the prayer space. The figure of the sun is also represented in the structural conformation of the liturgical space. This particular shape together with the light that comes from outside, create a magical view that is able to raise different emotions like surprise and astonishment to those who enjoy it. Another important feature of this church is the use of colour.  The external upper part of the building is realized with yellow architectural concrete and, from an external point of view, this project is immersed into the green, the typical colour of the surrounding landscape. That unique view is the result of a particular construction. In fact this project is realized below  the altitude of the plateau where it rises. In this way the Church, seen at a distance, could seem like a yellow body that is enveloped in the blue of the sky, surrounded by the green of the panorama. The employment of these colours recalls the local architectural tradition and, at the same time, the colours of the new flag of Rwanda. The new flag was adopted in 2001 in order to replace the old one, that had become the symbol of a

sad past. Its aim was to create a stronger sense of unity and sense of belonging for those people who were divided and tormented by a long civil war. With its simple features this new flag was able to bring the sense of unity and nowadays it represents this beautiful country, its inhabitants and its connection with the nature, the earth and the
sky. It represents the desire of peace of the community. The entire Church has been designed to have the same colourful bond with the surrounding environment. This "Church of Sun" is thought to be not only a place to pray, but also a place where people can
meet each other; so a place for the community. To this purpose, the building is made up of two parts connected by two large staircases.
The ground floor has been created for the community; it is a place dedicated to the human relationships and activities. The first floor represents the Church, where people can join the Mass, pray together and find a connection with God. The liturgical space is thought to contain about 150 people. The presbytery is made up of a raised podium in grey architectural concrete. Because of a dividing
wall, that cover all the height of the building, this area is protected from the light that comes from outside. With this solution, the project has different advantages: the internal wall can shade faithfuls from
the external light and the space obtains an internal embracing lighting, ables to guide the believers in their prayers.

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© 2016 by Fabio Berruti